Week 19

Today is a snow day and I should be doing lesson plans for tomorrow and next week. So I am blogging.

It's official, I'm halfway through my first year. My first Christmas break! I did nothing. Less than nothing. I stayed up all night and slept in all day. And...that's about it. I had big plans for wanting to redo the way I did...everything. And yet I still did nothing.

Wanting to do nothing has continued in to this week. I have algebra and geometry classes that are ahead of each other so letting one class catch up to the other means I get to use lesson plans I've already made. Score! It also means I have to make plans for the classes that are ahead. So only two preps and yet I can't even bring myself to do that. What is this sluggishness?

In geometry, we are starting to do congruent triangles. That seemed to go well and we just did SSS and SAS yesterday. I don't want to do proofs. We haven't really done any and I honestly don't see the point. On standardized tests, they're not going to have to write a proof and to me, if they know what the theorems mean and how to use that, then that's what is important. Also, I have just always hated proofs and I only used them in two classes in college and  I was pursuing math. To me, it's just not as important as getting through new material that we would normally miss out on.

In algebra, we are still doing slope and linear equations. I think I have drawn this out for so long that now they totally hate slope and we haven't even done point slope or standard form. Ouch. My real mistake is that I didn't set up the reason why slopes and lines are important. They have no idea how this pertains to real life. I was thinking about doing this spaghetti/penny lab but we haven't done line of best fit. And speaking of that, I thought it would make sense to do that at the end of everything but should that have been my intro into linear functions?

Next week is Spirit Week. I'm the Student Council sponsor so that means I will be spending all day Thursday and Friday constructing our background and decorating the stage for the coronation ceremony. Friday morning I will have coronation and rehearsal and Friday afternoon is our class competition assembly. So basically I only have Monday and Tuesday to actually have class. Spirit week is crazy in general because everyone is dressed up and excited and forget that this is school and we still have to do work. But it's even more hectic being the sponsor. Anything that is undecided or that goes wrong, I have to deal with. Oh nevermind, that's just a regular day at work. I say all that to say this...I will still not plan anything, especially ahead of time. And then we get out of school the 18th for MLKing day. This is just fueling my dispassion for planning right now. Oh lesson plans, I love that I hate you so.

I wanted to do a new seating arrangement and pondered many suggestions. I finally decided to the double E, which I will demonstrate here with x's.

x     x     x                    x     x     x

x                                              x

x     x     x                    x     x     x

x                                              x

x     x     x                    x     x     x

The idea is it is convenient for group work while at the same time giving me room to weave in and out easily between desks.

Mine turned into this:

x     x     x                   x     x     x     x

x     x                          
                                 x     x     x     x
x     x     x

x     x     x      

I just don't have enough room to do what I want to do. I have a stage in my room and a long honkin desk and my classroom is the end of an octagon so it's not square or rectangle, it's trapezoidalish.

Sometimes I think I would rather have tables than desks but I don't know if that would work out well either.

I have no desire to do lesson plans but there is no shortage of time for me to rearrange my room.

Ah, priorities.


  1. If your kids work well in groups (mine will not stop talking), you can group 4 desks together as a table. I do 2 facing 2, sideways to the board, so that everyone can see the board.

    Since mine talk, we mostly do pairs.(double rows) This allows me to have wider rows.

  2. I also do pairs - it makes it easy to form groups of 4 if you need to.

  3. The way my desks are, you can't put them together or one of the people won't be able to get in. If you space them out enough to get in, then they aren't really pairs anymore. I could put them facing each other sideways to the board but I don't think they could handle facing each other.

  4. I made a worksheet last year of real life situations that involved linear equations. I used my students' names and a situation that they would find them selves in such as"

    4. Tyler and Chase signed up this year for hockey and had to pay a $250 registration fee. For each game they play, they have to pay an additional $15 in ice assessments. Write an equation that describes Tyler and Chase’s total cost for playing hockey. Let c = the total cost and n = the number of games played.


    6. Beth and Sean have decided to both go buy new cell phone plans with AT&T. They got the cell phones for free, but had to pay a $50 activation fee. The also have a monthly bill that is $24.99 per month. Write an equation that describes the total cost for a certain number of months. Let c = cost and m = number of months.


    3. Michael and Willie became members at Nemadji Golf Course. They had to pay a membership fee of $260 dollars. This membership allows them to use the driving range for free but each time they play a round of golf, they get a discounted rate of $6. Write an equation that describes Michael and Willie’s total cost for a season of golf. Let g = the total cost and g = the number of rounds of golf played.
    There were about 15 story problems.. and each kid was mentioned. They ate this right up---more conversation was had about the story problems.

    Just a thought on how to make this real world :)

    I also to a measurement lab comparing length of foot to height to introduce lines of best fit.

  5. Sarah,
    That would be a good idea and I know they love to see their name. Story problems would be great but honestly I don't think they would see any connection between those and sloe-intercept. =(

    I've heard of things like that for line of best fit but when should I teach that? I still haven't taught point-slope form or standard form yet.

  6. Inorder for students to see the connection between slope-intercept and story problems you might have to have them make a table of x and y values and then have them notice how the y-intercept is the amount they started with of whatever you are quantifying and the slope is the amount that each y-value will increase by.

    I actually just taught line of best fit and I never even touched point-slope OR standard form, nor will I. None of our algebra teachers here focus on point-slope form and only standard form when we get into substitution and elimination.

  7. Sarah,
    That would make my life SO much easier if I could just be done with slope and move on.

    But, do you cover writing the equation of a line from two points? That would require the point slope form and it seems to me that shows up on standardized tests.

  8. We did cover making an equation from two points. If you have two points you can find the slope. So in y=mx+b then you know m. If you take only one of the ordered pairs and plug it in for the x and y in the equation you then solve for b. Then take the m and the b that you found and put them in the equation.

    But by all means if it's on your state testing then god forbid you skip it :)

    We don't have it (point slope form) on any of our benchmark testing.

  9. Sarah,
    I honestly don't know if it's on any of our testing or not. I don't really know what is on our Benchmark testing and our 'state' testing is the ACT so I guess I should check into that!

  10. I did that Spaghetti/penny lab to *introduce* line of best fit last year. My kids really enjoyed it and got the idea of it better than they had the year before. I'll probably do it again. I kinda throw best fitting lines in with other statistics stuff toward the end of the year, but that might not be the best idea.

    I teach writing equations from 2 points like Sarah does. No point-slope form until Algebra 2.